World War I Soldier Essay Examples & Outline
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World War I Soldier
The battle of Marne marked the end of the German onslaught. It was the end of the period when the German domination. The battle took place near river Marne in the Champagne province. The onslaught was a last attempt by the German soldiers to push the allies to the background since they were increasingly turning out to be real concerns (Adams, 2001). This was the second battle fought in the region, and it was the decision factor on whether the allied forces would survive or not. An often-neglected information about the battle is the role played by the American forces in the battle (Botstein et al., 2007).
The German onslaught was led by General Ludendorff. The general was convinced that the best way of attaining any victory was through the attack in the Flanders region that stretched from the northern part of France into Belgium. The battle of Marne was a diversionary tactic aimed at luring the allies to the south away from the northern frontline, which was the main event. The attack was launched by the 23 divisions of the Germans. The general fought on two fronts in bid to divide and conquer the French forces (Strachan, 2001).
The Germans used the artillery bombardment of the trenches to launch the attacks. This traditional approach had been working all along for the Germans. However, in this particular instance, the French armies had created diversionary retrenches that were undermanned. The diversionary tactic reduced the firepower of the Germans to a minimal level such that when they reached the real trenches they were counteracted with a lot of firepowers that they could not match (Botstein et al., 2007). The real front was manned by the weakened French forces and the new reinforcement of over 85000 American troops (Strachan, 2001). The real trenches were the actual battlefield. The Germans suffered many casualties since they were surrounded and overpowered.
On July 18, the French armies attacked from the west. The attack encompassed the effective use of tanks. The leaders of the advance were American troops. The attack on the salient led to the decision by the German high command of the salient in order to avoid any chances of a rout. On July 19, the American troops located south of Soissons encountered heavy resistance from the German air force (Strachan, 2001). This indicates that the American expeditionary forces played a vital role in the defense and later advances. While working under the command of the French, the American forces managed to stage numerous onslaughts in the war such that the battle of Marne was won. The American soldiers were capable of fighting full regiments of German army since they were not as spent as their French counterparts. They had just moved into the war while the French forces had been in the trenches for over three years (Botstein et al., 2007).
The German soldiers were capable of pushing in one the rest of the army until they encountered the American soldiers. They attributed the cause of the success of the American soldiers to their fresh nature in the army and their masses. Their weapons also contributed to their success. With the arrival of the American troops, the Allies were now confident that they could win the war. The numbers that the men brought were sufficient for the allies to launch counter attacks against the German army (Botstein et al., 2007). The ability of the American troops to reduce the certainty of the German salient increased the chances of success in the battle (Adams, 2001).
The tanks had been developed to facilitate the movement of the troops over the trench systems. The battle of Marne used the tanks as the means of support to the infantry. The first-time mustard gas was used was in 1915. The gas gained popularity since it was ideal for the reduction of the artillery power of the forces. The gas was developed by the Germans, and they would propel it using gas canisters (Adams, 2001). It affected the artillery and mortar teams such that the initial and the most important aspects of a resistance would fail.
The allied forces had to use the gas masks to protect themselves. The gas was also ideal for the trenches. Other weapons used in the battle include the bolt-action rifles. The bolt-action rifles were predominant in the American troops. The Germans used the Mauser Gewehr. Both sides used machine guns. The machine guns were ideal for the defensive operations since they required operating by a team. Therefore, moving them was difficult or impossible (Adams, 2001). Both teams had canons. The Germans used large and cumbersome canons that were difficult to use in the field.
The war was fought under degrading conditions. The main hideout for either side was the trenches. Given the weather in Europe, the trenches were unbearable (Strachan, 2001). During the rainy seasons, the trenched were filled with runoff such that the soldiers’ quarters were flooded. The increased wetness led to the spread of waterborne diseases among the troops. The soldiers also had to sleep in congested places. The squalid nature of the trenches led to the increase in the lice outbreak. The other hardship that the soldiers underwent was the increased boredom. There was limited action since the battles did not last for long (Adams, 2001).
Dealing with the boredom was difficult for the soldiers. They used traditional ways of amusing themselves such as storytelling and singing. They could not leave their posts without permission since the war was unpredictable. The final things that the soldiers missed was the conjugal rights (Botstein et al., 2007). The new forces in the war were unaccustomed to the long durations of loneliness. They were the worst affected by this issue.
Adams, S. (2001). World War 1. London: Dorling Kindersley.
Botstein, S., Ward, G., Burns, K., Novick, L., David, K., & Hanks, T. et al. (2007). The war. [United States]: PBS Home Video.
Strachan, H. (2001). The First World War. Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press.